JOE MORGENSTERN writes: This fall Peter Jackson will be in Pennsylvania directing “The Lovely Bones,” his screen version of the haunting Alice Sebold novel that inhabits both heaven and earth. For now, though, he’s still working on preparations for the film at Weta, his production facility in the modest Wellington suburb of Miramar. On a New Zealand winter’s day of brisk breezes and heavenly sunshine I visited him at Weta, which was named after a giant insect endemic to this country and has been fed by giant revenues from “The Lord of the Rings.”

I’d been told by his people that it was to be a social visit. Freely translated, that meant he didn’t want to sit still for yet another interview or profile, and understandably so. Translating more freely, I took it to mean he also didn’t want to discuss his legal disputes with New Line, the Hollywood studio that produced the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. All of that was fine with me, since I had no agenda, apart from hearing what the reigning master of fantasy might have to say about the movie business and its foreseeable future — maybe even its unforeseeable future — and getting some idea of the scope of Weta, which has become a one-of-a-kind cauldron of creativity, as well as raw computing power. [more]